A Christmas Together is a television special starring John Denver and the Muppets. Based on the album of the same name, this one hour Christmas special was originally produced for ABC and aired on December 5, 1979.
- Denver and the Muppets sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
- Denver sings "The Pleasure of Your Company."
- John tells the tale of Alfie the Christmas Tree before singing "It's in Every One of Us"
- Kermit the Frog and Denver reminisce about past Christmases with their friends and families, and sing "The Christmas Wish."
- Miss Piggy confronts Denver in her dressing room about their presumably mutual attraction.
- Denver and Rowlf the Dog sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
- Miss Piggy, as a doll named Fifi, sings "I Will Wait for You" to Denver, who plays a wooden soldier trying to stay in step with a line of marching soldiers, while singing "Camaraderie".
- The cast sings "The Peace Carol."
- Denver recites the story of Jesus' birth ("The First Noel" / "We Three Kings" / "Joy to the World").
The program concludes with Denver and the Muppets singing "Stille Nacht," and children in the audience join in for the English version, "Silent Night."
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, James Brown found the combination of Denver and the Muppets to be an "overdose of cute". He opined that the special "overextends its welcome with too many spoonfuls of sugar and not enough holiday surprises. Denver's easy-going songs tend to blur from one to the next. Miss Piggy coos and boils in predictable fashion. The production numbers are ordinary. And the cardboard sets and spray-can snow do little to unearth the holiday spirit. Only Kermit the Frog — thank God for Kermit — manages to touch and tickle us as he talks about building a “snow frog” back at the old pond. Now that’s cute."
Bill Hayden starts his review for the Gannett News Service by placing John Denver at the top of his list of "least favorite performers" and the Muppets as ranking "exceedingly high" on a list of his most-liked performers. He goes on to credit Miss Piggy for stealing the show (particularly in "I Will Wait for You") and points to the "beautifully serious" nativity scene as the special's highlight.
- Animal, Beaker, Camilla, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Foo-Foo, Gonzo, Janice, Kermit the Frog, Lew Zealand, Link Hogthrob, Miss Piggy, Robin the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, Statler and Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, Zoot
- Executive Producer: Jerry Weintraub
- Producer: Bob Finkel
- Director/Choreographer: Tony Charmoli
- Writers: Herbert Baker and Bob Finkel
- Special Material by: Jon Stone
- Special Musical Material/Choral Direction by Ray Charles
- Art director: Ray Klausen
- Musical director: George Wyle
- Music supervisor: Milt Okun
- Nativity Muppets by Caroly Wilcox and Leslee Asch, Nomi Frederick, Jane Gootnick, Joanne Green, Marianne Harms, Calista Hendrickson, Janet Kuhl, Tim Miller, Tim Rose, Polly Smith
- Muppet Performers
- Starring Frank Oz
- With Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz
- And Jim Henson
- Also Steve Whitmire, Kathryn Mullen, Robert Payne, Brian Muehl, Mike Davis, Cheryl Henson, Phillip Huber
- The special was taped in November 1979 at the ABC-TV Center in Los Angeles.
- The three-minute sequence of wooden soldiers dancing and singing "Camaraderie" was deleted from some reruns on The Disney Channel (which also appear to be slightly zoomed in compared to the original broadcast). The original ABC broadcast also included an announcer mentioning the sponsors, DuPont and Dr. Pepper, at the end of the first and last segments. Some Disney Channel airings also included part of an introduction with Michael Eisner and Kermit the Frog which was filmed for an NBC airing of A Muppet Family Christmas.
- There are multiple references to previous elements in this special:
- John and Miss Piggy's conversation refer back to John's Muppet Show episode, which would have aired in American syndication by this point.
- During the "I Will Wait for You" number during a "slow motion" scene with John, Piggy mentions "I seem to remember doing this in a movie somewhere", referring to the "Never Before, Never Again" number in The Muppet Movie.
- Twenty-two new Muppets were created for the nativity scene. Jim Henson told the press, "they were carved from urethane foam, like most of the Muppets, and painted in New York. We had to be careful not to offend anyone by giving the figures comic characteristics. These are the first serious puppets we've made."
- ↑ Los Angeles Times "The Tube Tonight" James Brown, December 5, 1979
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Pensacola News "To Networks, It's Christmas" by Bill Hayden, December 5, 1979
- ↑ Jim Henson's Red Book 12/5/1979 – ‘San Diego Museum of Art – Muppet Exhibit. Air John Denver Christmas Special.’
- ↑ Detroit Free Press TV listings, December 5, 1979
- ↑ Press Democrat "Muppets are genuine individuals" December 5, 1979